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My artwork borrows fiber techniques from the traditional craft of basketry to create a sculptural expression of my beliefs and experiences and how they are sensed by the body. I am intrigued by the process of, and differences between, feeling and knowing; body and mind. Ineffable memories held by the body are more potent, penetrating and enduring than those in the mind. The forms are actuated by this somatic memory in conjunction with an investigation of the dichotomies: strength and fragility, fullness and emptiness, present and absent, masculine and feminine, fertile and barren, living, aging and dead. I am also intensely interested in metaphors found in nature that echo universal experiences: clouds looming in the distance, murmurations of birds, the infinite sky, patterns of stars. My art is my voice, more than my words and in my work, feeling overshadows knowing.
Bio / Description:
Ann Coddington Rast is an Associate Professor at Eastern Illinois University Art Department teaching in Foundations and Graduate Studies. She received her MFA from the University of Illinois Sculpture Department in 1993, and her BFA from the Colorado State University Fibers Department in 1986.
Coddington Rast utilizes a variety of fiber techniques including twining and netting in her sculptural forms. She has most recently exhibited her work at venues including: Society for Contemporary Craft in Pittsburgh, the Bingham Gallery at the University of Missouri in Columbia, the Beverly Arts Center in Chicago, the Weston Art Gallery in Cincinnati, the Mobilia Gallery in Boston, and the Snyderman Works Gallery in Philadelphia. Ann received an individual artist project grant from the Illinois Arts Council in 2012, an individual grant in 2000, and a finalist grant in 2004 and 2008.
She says of her work, “We live in a world of increasingly complex technologies that paradoxically, in their effort to connect us, instead separate and isolate us, removing us from authentic experience. As the world becomes more complex, I am driven to simplify. I tie two pieces of string together, bend some sticks, form plaster in my hands. I love the feel and smell of the materials. The slow building of one stitch upon stitch exists within an ancient time frame, virtually never experienced in the contemporary technological world.”